MDC says embassy in SA represents Zanu-PF, not Zimbabweans

MDC says embassy in SA represents Zanu-PF, not  Zimbabweans
At a picket on Friday, an appeal was made by the opposition in Zimbabwe to the South African Development Community (SADC), the African Union, the United Nations and the international community for help. Photo / Shiraaz Mohamed.

Concerned about the deteriorating climate in Zimbabwe, the country’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance called for the shutdown of the Zimbabwean embassy during a picket outside the mission in Pretoria.

 On Friday, 2 October a handful of members from the MDC gathered outside the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria where the opposition party’s chairman, Trust Ndlovu said the embassy no longer represented the interests of the Zimbabwean people, only the interests of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF.

Ndlovu appealed for the release of all political prisoners in Zimbabwe. These include Joanna Mamombe, Last Maengahama, Tunga Madzokere and student leader Tafadzwa Ngadziore.

A policeman talks to an official from the Zimbabwean embassy while a protester stands outside. Photo / Shiraaz Mohamed.


An MDC protester raises questions about the standpoint of the African Union. 
Photo / Shiraaz Mohamed.

And he called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the rest of the international community to help.

Secretary of the MDC, Nhamo Chikowore said, “The situation in Zimbabwe is terrible. It requires the intervention of the international community, SADC and the African Union, in particular. As citizens of Zimbabwe we are supposed to be protected but we are not. If you look at the number of Zimbabweans living in South Africa, they are in excess of 3- million people. They are here not because they want to be here. They are here because there are no opportunities in Zimbabwe or they are under persecution

“I can talk for myself. I left Zimbabwe because of political persecution. I cannot go back to Zimbabwe. Now it is time for the African region to stand up, not for the Zimbabwean government but for the people of Zimbabwe. This is what we are crying for.”

An MDC petition, handed over to embassy officials, condemned the arrests of political campaigners, on the pretext they were plotting to unleash violence and overthrow the government, and the conditions in which they are held. The petition called for due process to be followed, that unbiased investigations be conducted before arrests, and that the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty. 

Chair of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance (MDC), Trust Ndlovu, holds up a poster of the alleged beatings of political prisoners. Photo / Shiraaz Mohamed.

An official from the embassy signs receipt of the petition. Photo / Shiraaz Mohamed.

The opposition party said the arrests violated the Zimbabwean constitution on freedom of assembly and expression, as well as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. 

The MDC plans to demonstrate once lockdown restrictions allow and will be holding night vigils at the embassy and consulates, until their demands are met.

The Zanu-PF has consistently denied claims of Zimbabwe being in crisis. DM

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